British cabinet minister calls for ban on Medal of Honor

The British Defence Secretary has called on retailers to ban a forthcoming installment of Medal of Honor that allows players to control Taliban characters.

The option is not available in the main game storyline, but rather the multiplayer online option in which one side can (and in fact must) play as the Taliban against US forces.

Previous editions of the game have allowed players to control Axis characters in second world war scenarios, but this did not cause as much controversy.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Liam Fox, the British cabinet member responsible for military issues said ” At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands. I am disgusted and angry. It’s hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game. I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product.”

Fox also said he found it ” shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers.” In fact this isn’t the case as British soldiers don’t feature in the game. A spokesperson for Fox later said this didn’t matter as the point remained that players could control Taliban characters in a setting where British troops operated.

To date there does not appear to be any case of major retailers refusing to stock the game. (Fox’s suggestion that stores “ban” the game is of course meaningless as they don’t have such a power.)

The organization that could have legally prevented the game being sold, the British Board of Film Classification, says it only restricted the game to buyers aged 18 or over to be cautious and had strongly considered allowing it to be sold to those aged 15 or over.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is ultimately responsible for products such as video games, says Fox’s comments were in a personal capacity and that the rating system allows buyers to make informed purchasing decisions.

In a comment issued before Fox spoke out, publishers Electronic Arts said ” We give gamers the opportunity to play both sides. Most of us have been doing this since we were seven. If someone’s the cop, someone’s got to be the robber, someone’s got to be the pirate, somebody’s got to be the alien. In Medal Of Honor multiplayer, someone has to be the Taliban.”

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7 Responses to British cabinet minister calls for ban on Medal of Honor

  1. All I can think of is that "At the hands of the British and NATO forces, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands." (And add to that the lost mothers and wives.)

  2. All I can think of is that “At the hands of the British and NATO forces, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands.” (And add to that the lost mothers and wives.)

  3. Liam fox is being a political douche bag and trying to create publicity for himself as a I'm in support of the troops and families sorta guy. When all he's really doing is creating political clout for himself. I doubt he really even cares if anyone plays or doesn't play the game.

    The same thing happens in the US ever time a politician starts to look soft on the military or the home front.

  4. Some people do care. I myself prefer not to play first person shooters at all, and my children (if I ever have any) will not play shooters until I have been able to teach them 1.) why war is bad and 2.) the difference between "bad guys" who are painted as such from one perspective in history and people who are really bad guys (for the record, I'm NOT saying that all members of the Taliban are truly horrible, evil men. Rather, I am saying that I want to teach my children to understand that they are NOT, but are, in fact, doing bad things which they've been taught are okay.).

    Please don't assume that your ideas about what is okay and not okay in the video game venue are shared by everyone, but respect that there are people–real, everyday people–out there who wonder if games like this are detrimental to our children and our society.

  5. Looks like it's time for Hawaii to invade England seeing as though it's defend by such a massive idiot. I mean WOW. Just as I thought the question, "how stupid can you be?" was answered, this guy comes along…

  6. sometimes people are such retards. People have a choice weather they want to buy FPS's relating to whats going on in the world today and being an avid player of Xbox titles such as MW2 and Battlefield BC2 ive come across parents who buy there under aged child games like this. I think that abit of publicity(even tho hes an idiot) will open the eyes of retailers and parents alike to keep this game to strict over 18s.